Tag Archives: Buckhead private schools

Time Flies…

This time of year I often feel like time is moving faster than I’m able to keep up with, somewhat like a gerbil racing in its wheel.  I also wonder if I’m accomplishing more at this faster pace or just spinning my own wheel.

As the new school year began 8 short months ago, I almost felt myself physically bracing for all the changes that lie ahead for my high school senior son and my college senior son, which inevitably will lead to an empty nest for my husband and I and our dear 12-year-old chocolate lab.  I considered recording all the “lasts” we would experience throughout the year to share on Facebook with catchy captions, but it somehow seemed too morbid so instead I just braced myself for the ride.

Here we are in the midst of our last high school baseball season after a 16-year run of watching both boys play.  How did we get here so fast?  When the last pitch is thrown, the last out is called, the last game is over and I watch my son walk off the baseball field for the last time, it will feel like it has been so much more than just a game, but instead a metaphor for the many seasons of raising children.

Throughout this 18-year time span so many decisions are made and lessons learned. Growing up can certainly be described as a team sport with fans, coaches, umpires, team mates, opposing teams, celebrations and defeats, knowing when to bunt or when to aim for the fence, while at times feeling alone at the plate.

As a mother, I’m grateful for a book club with other mothers, an insightful leader, and a wise author to guide us through this transition toward having adult children.  I highly recommend, Now That They Are Grown: Successfully Parenting Your Adult Children, by Ron Greer http://www.ronaldjgreer.com/now_that_they_are_grown As a mother in the group said, “We are the first generation to take on parenting with the intensity of a CEO only to work ourselves out of a job.”

As 2 graduations approach less than 2 months away, the tight grip I was trying to hold on to my children’s lives is slowly loosening as I tentatively yet faithfully try to change my focus to the journey that will unfold with many “firsts” instead of focusing on all the “lasts”.

Baseball Season in Atlanta

A recent girls night out was a much overdue outing among good friends that met over 10 years ago through baseball loving sons.  The bond established on the bleachers overlooking a baseball field certainly ranks up there with dorm room friends and office friends who you often spend more time with than your own family.

Looking back, did we all really enthusiastically leave Atlanta and head off to Humble, Texas for our 10 year old sons to compete in a PONY regional championship?  It wasn’t because any of us thought our child was the prodigy that was going to make it to “the bigs”, we just loved watching our boys play a game they loved, and quite simply we didn’t know any better. We were naïve enough to love the coaches, love the team as a whole, and love the adventure we were embarking on for one week of our eight week all star summer vacation.  While my husband could still give you a play by play of each game, I remember more of our off field experiences; happy hour at the Country Inn and Suites on rained-out afternoons, entertaining little brothers at the local arcade, being perturbed that the fields were not up to our Buckhead standards, and watching the 10 year olds feel like big guys sharing rooms with their teammates and keeping their parents at a safe distance to enjoy their freedom.

From 10 year old ball, the boys eventually went in different directions; a few played another year or 2, some throughout high school, and a couple keeping the dream alive into college.

As we most recently shared stories of impressive summer internships, older siblings with real jobs and impending marriages, I hope our children will come to know the joy they brought to us and hold those memories as dear as their parents will.

Atlanta Private School Admission Letters Mailed April 5th

I remember this day well when my own children were waiting to see if they had been accepted to their school of choice.  The letters typically arrive on Saturday after being mailed on Friday.  After many months of visiting schools, completing applications, and going for interviews, the decision day finally comes.  From my experience with my children and their friends, everyone got into a school that was a good fit for them academically and socially. Best of luck to everyone that is waiting!

Go to this site: http://www.aaais.org/calendar/2013-04 to keep up with different schools open houses and deadlines.

Navigating the College Admissions Process

As my younger son gets closer to embarking on his college career, I’m debating about taking a leave of absence from my job to navigate the process for/with him.  I’m actually joking, but a parent could easily make a full time job out of scheduling SAT tutoring and college visits, overseeing applications and essays, and meeting with the college counselors to micro manage the entire process to ensure the perfect “fit” for their child for the next 4 years.

As much as I’d somewhat like to be “that” parent, I’ve often felt like I missed that special micro management gene that knows the perfect activity for a class party, the perfect teacher gift, the perfect number of Gatorades for a successful team celebration, and the perfect SAT prep course for the perfect score.

My older son was the typical first child and very independently executed his college acceptance process, which I almost ashamedly admit to not reviewing a single application along the way.  “The baby”, as we still refer to our 6’5“, 16 year old will need more guidance and encouragement.

Knowing that tutoring him through the ACT/SAT testing was outside of my expertise, I consulted with Applerouth Tutoring and was very impressed with the services they offered. Those services and guarantees for higher scores came with a high price tag that unfortunately are only open to those families able or willing to “invest” in those extra points to ensure their children’s applications are competitive. That’s another blog post for another day.

I’m also reading “Colleges That Change Lives“, by Loren Pope. I love the idea of a small liberal arts college which I truly believe can catch a previously unengaged student off guard and give them their first Ah-Ha moment of their academic life.  I was one of those students that landed at beautiful Rollins College in Winter Park Florida after graduating from LaGrange High School in small town middle Georgia.  After enjoying spring break in Panama City Beach, FL, I returned home and declared I wanted to go to school in Florida.  At the interview with the school admissions counselor, my mother pleaded, “We’re from a small cotton mill town and Dede’s never really had a chance”.  Shocked and slightly embarrassed, we concluded our interview, toured the picturesque, lakeside campus highlighted by palm trees and Spanish- Mediterranean architecture, and six months later I moved into Ward Hall to experience the best four years of my life.

I may not be able to convince “the baby” to take the liberal arts route I so loved and forego the SEC big sports loving college atmosphere, I so hope he finds a “fit” that provides a few Ah-Ha academic moments and leads to a fulfilling career that allows him to reach his full potential in life.

Real Estate Recovery Run around The Westminster Schools

Last weekends Real Estate Recovery Run was an 8 mile run to gear up for the upcoming half marathon season that took place with my friend Julie through the neighborhoods along West Paces Ferry at I-75 and behind The Westminster Schools.  As a loan officer in a bank, Julie can certainly relate to the downfall of the real estate market and upheaval of the financial system.  She’s logged in hundreds, maybe thousands of miles on foot and her bike in search of sanity over the last few years.

Sunday was a beautiful morning with a touch of fall in the air.  We met at the West Paces Ferry shopping center near Starbucks, which is a popular hangout place for the students that attend the private schools in the area.  Passing the beautiful estates mixed with more modest homes that possess the blue chip addresses on West Paces Ferry took our mind off of the long gradual incline. The sharing of war stories of the market and hopeful recovery we are seeing kept our adrenaline flowing.

After a refreshing downhill break we crossed Northside Parkway toward The Westminster Schools.  Years of carpooling memories came back to me, warming my heart as we plodded deeper into the quiet neighborhoods with estate sized properties and rolling lawns surrounding the campus.  The few For Sale signs along the way were a reminder of the declining inventory of available homes. Eight miles seemed to pass rather quickly as we soaked in the serenity of our peaceful surroundings.

See below the available homes for sale within close proximity to The Westminster Schools and other Buckhead private schools.

[idx-listings zip=”30327″ minprice=”500″ maxprice=”10000000″ propertytypes=”230″ orderby=”DateAdded” orderdir=”DESC” count=”488″]

High School Football begins in Atlanta

Football season is upon us.  As the mother of ball loving sons, I often feel like my life can be categorized by what ball was being played with at that particular time.  We sold our house during baseball season, my grandmother passed away during football season, etc.  I confess I prefer the beautiful spring days of baseball season and the fast paced roar in the gym of basketball season to the late and often cold Friday nights of high school football season. My long lean sons don’t possess the stature required for an injury free football season so the sound of crashing helmets can cause me great stress.  I’ve learned to watch the game by just scanning the field so as not to focus on the intricacies of each play or see which player ends up on the bottom of the heap.

Growing up in small town Georgia I do get the enthusiasm and pride that goes along with supporting the local team.   The star players in those small towns often go on to run for mayor, own the local sporting goods store, or coach a team of their own and continue to relive their championship season and the play by play of each game well into their senior years.  The marching band, twirling majorettes, and pom- pom shaking cheerleaders set the tone each Friday night as the town fills the stadium.  My enthusiasm for high school football waned when I attended my children’s Buckhead private school games.  High school football without a marching band is like the Dallas Cowboys without the cheerleaders.  With the private schools priority being placed on academics and other extra-curricular activities like chess club or debate team, the marching band slowly became extinct.   I’m sorry, but a few beatnik type musicians playing their instruments in the stands does not compare to the stadium rocking sensation of the marching band.

Since my younger son has decided to retire his cleats and shoulder pads this year, I will no longer be regularly attending Friday night games.  My husband on the other hand will still be in the stands so I will look forward to a season of girl’s nights with Georgia, our chocolate lab.  Someone was looking out for me when we happened upon a lab that cares nothing about a ball.

Go Team!

A New School Year Begins

The beginning of a new school year always brings mixed emotions. When my children were younger the summer seemed to go on for an eternity, but now that they are older and much more self-sufficient I wish the lazy days of summer could stretch out just a little longer. Since my younger son recently passed the driving milestone of life I will no longer be driving a child to school. As excited as he is to be driving his own wheels onto campus feeling quite full of his upper classman status, me and the family dog will be missing our morning drive onto campus feeling the excitement as another day unfolds. While I’ll miss the occasional conversation and small insight into my son’s day, Georgia, our chocolate lab, will miss the breeze in her face, the other SUV’s with happy dogs passing by, the quirky crossing guard/wrestling coach that would bark as we passed, jumping in the front seat as my son got out, and happily returning home for her morning nap.

My older son is still somewhat scarred from his first day of Kindergarten when I showed up to ride home with him on the school bus. You would have thought I was insisting on accompanying him on his first date. While he’s always eager for a new experience and leaps in head first with no hesitation, I’ve spent his entire life attempting to direct his enthusiasm toward safe and law abiding endeavors.

My younger son is much more content to go with the flow and was in no hurry to go to school or experience anything outside of a very small radius of his mother. After crying every morning for his first 2 weeks of first grade and begging me to get a job at the school, he eventually settled in.

As I recently shopped with my college aged son at Target for his back to school essentials, my heart was warmed by a younger boy proudly bragging to his mother about all of the hidden pockets, clips, and zippers on his Mario Brothers book bag. Instead we were buying shampoo, deodorant, and a toilet scrubbing brush with a lesson on toilet cleaning and the importance of keeping clean surroundings for a clean mind and sense of well-being. Where are the Mario Brothers or Power Rangers toilet scrubbers? Surely that would elicit some excitement for college aged boys facing toilet cleaning for the first time.

This week my high school junior son left his bed before noon for the first time all summer to rush off to get his books and my college junior son headed off to college this morning comparing his excitement level to that of Christmas day, so I will try to muster my excitement to trade in the less structured days of summer for the daily grind and find the joy in all that a new school year brings. Maybe Georgia and I will just take a morning ride the first couple of weeks for old times’ sake.

Atlanta Fine Homes High-End Home Sales Strong

Buckhead Inventory of Homes for Sale has dropped 31%

In our sales meeting this week, the main topic of discussion was regarding multiple offers on homes. The attorneys at Campbell and Brannon pointed out challenges and potential pitfalls to avoid when faced with this situation.  I don’t think anyone in the real estate industry is ready to say happy days are here again, but the decrease in inventory is certainly causing more buyers to have a sense of urgency that they weren’t feeling over the last couple of years which is resulting in multiple offer scenarios for homes that are well priced and in good condition.

The chart below from Trendgraphix illustrates the decreased number of homes for sale in the Buckhead area in the $500,000 to $1,000,000 price range.

Lovett Boys Baseball Advances to the Semi-Finals


The regular season is a little slow for me, but the playoffs are when I really feel like a fan. As we arrived for our first game at Calhoun High School, ready for our first two games out of a three game series, the port-a-potty clean out truck parked within reach of the stands was a reminder that we were not in Buckhead anymore. As the stench filled the air, the mood was lightened and the first pitch was thrown.  Country or city, the love of the game is evident wherever we go.  Having warmed many baseball stands over many years, the monotony of the regular season can seem long and oh so routine.  My husband and I seem to spend more time passing each other in the garage than we do in any other area of the house. Practices here, games there, some work in between, fast food, late nights and early mornings, and I’m ready for the playoffs.

A friend of mine with non-sports playing children recently commented to me that she wished she and her husband shared in the sports comaraderie of watching their children play. I quickly corrected her and said, “Oh, do not be fooled by thinking this is something we do together.” My husband sees a completely different game than I do as he leans in the mens corner on the edge of the stands, and I join mom friends in the bleachers.  As we later reminisce, he oftens asks if I was at the same game he was.

Having split our first two games against Calhoun, we headed back on day two for a do- or-die third game.  At the game I attended, I joyfully watched the coaches wife with two young daughters and lincoln log bin in tow to postpone boredom, the grown men that left their jobs in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon to drive over an hour to watch high school boys play ball even without a child on the team, the loving grandparents that wouldn’t miss a game, the little sisters that got dragged to a possible final game, the pitcher’s mom that appeared pale and weak, senior moms teary-eyed at the possibility of seeing their son walk off a baseball field for the last time, and the superstitious rituals of where to sit, pace or sit, change clothes or not, cheer or not cheer, etc.  Although these are the scenes and events that seemed to keep my attention for most of the game, I was forced to be consumed by the competition taking place on the field.

Top of the 7th and Lovett is down 4-1.  This is our last chance to advance to the semi-finals or move on to studying for final exams.  After a Lovett rally we go into the bottom of the 7th with Lovett up 6-4 and Calhoun at bat.  As the team mom and I were clenching hands and practicing something like Lamaze breathing to relieve the tension, Calhoun hit a one run homer, 6-5. Our sophomore lefty closed the game with his ever so confident and calm style and a big W.  On to Pierce County Monday.  Go Lions!

Go here for a play-by-play report by the Northside Neighbor

2012 Varsity Baseball Team